Russian Computer Experts Arrested for Treason

Two men were arrested on Wednesday, January 25 in December by Russia’s FSB on charges of treason. The men are Sergei Mikhailov, a senior officer of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, and Ruslan Stoyanov, the head of computer incident response investigations at Kaspersky Lab, which makes antivirus programs. [Update: The arrest was just announced; it appears the men were arrested in December.]  Earlier, the firing of the director of the Center for Information Security, Andrei Gerasimov, was announced, reportedly related to an investigation into the agency’s cooperation with Kaspersky on criminal hacking cases. Moscow Times is now reporting that two more men have been arrested: Dmitry Dokuchaev, who worked in the same FSB unit as Mikhailov, and another whose name has not been released. Read More

Links – January 25, 2017

Donald Trump likes and dislikes nuclear weapons, according to what he has said, as slippery as anything else he says. Here are excerpts from testimony to Congress by his Secretaries of State and Defense on the subject. Their views are fairly conventional. We don’t know how much they will influence him.

Why Trump’s bluffing won’t be effective on nuclear weapons issues. What the Trump administration needs to do to get up to speed on those issues. Read More

Links – December 6, 2016

On the Donald Trump presidency and its effect on America:  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says we need to speak clearly about the dangers. Similarly, Vann R. Newkirk II says we must confront racism.

Evan McMullin ran for president as an independent. Now, on Twitter and in the New York Times, he is warning about Trump’s autocratic tendencies.

The president alone can order a nuclear strike. Alex Wellerstein summarizes the procedure.

The Heritage Foundation recommends that Donald Trump withdraw from all nuclear treaties as president. Steven Pifer tells us why that’s a bad idea.

Meanwhile, in Russia. Putin and pseudoscience.

Fascinating long read on an Estonian dialect spoken in Latvia and the people who have researched it.

Long read on religion, politics, and foreign policy in Iran.

Issues in South Asia for the next president. (photo from here)

 

Trump Talks To Tsai

Donald Trump has been taking (or making, hard to tell) phonecalls from foreign leaders congratulating him on his electoral victory. He has been doing this without the benefit of briefing by the State Department, official interpreters and note-takers, or anyone else who has the US’s interests at heart, possibly on unsecured phones. Pakistan released what appears to be a verbatim transcription of his part of the call, featuring the words “fantastic” and “amazing” rather too many times and promising to help Pakistan with whatever. India was not pleased. Read More

Links – October 17, 2016

Pakistan and India are glaring and occasionally shooting at each other again. Since both have nuclear weapons and no warning time at all to decide what it is the other has in that missile, this is a particularly dangerous situation. Here’s a good idea: Russia and China, which have good relations with the two, should press for a peaceful accommodation and better ways for India and Pakistan to relate to each other. Vladimir Putin seems to want to be seen as a peacemaker. He’s blown that in Syria. India and Pakistan present a real opportunity. Read More